Guidelines To Write The Best Descriptive Essays

October 13, 2022 Umer
Descriptive essay guidelines

Mastering The Art of Writing

Words are powerful tools that can help writers explore the inner depths of the human mind. After the introspection, they can present their findings in an approachable manner that can be read and understood by others. It will not be an overstatement to say that words hold power over people. Using the right words, they can be moved, inspired, and even charged for a cause.

It is understandable for a student in school or college to have the desire of mastering the art of writing. He can achieve better grades with superior writing skills and tower over his peers. In professional life, the ability to write persuasive prose can open doors to countless opportunities.

Descriptive Essay – Evoking Vivid Images Through Words

Descriptive writing is loved by readers because of the vivid imagery that can help them see or feel the subject through the power of words. The subject of descriptive writing can be a person bearing special characteristics for the writer, an object of significance, a place of importance, a life-altering experience, or even a deeply moving emotion.

Writers rely on figurative language and literary devices such as similes, metaphors, and others to paint a larger-than-life image of the subject for the readers. Since the sole focus is on a single topic, the whole content of the essay is geared toward illuminating every relevant aspect.

There are two major types of descriptive essay writing. One is objective which is self-evident and the other is impressionistic which bears the personal trademarks and longings of the writer.

Purpose of Writing Descriptive Essays

The purpose of writing descriptive essays is to entertain the readers and make them “see” or “feel” the subject through the power of prose. The purpose is fulfilled through superior writing skills and control over elements of the essay.

Many experts believe that the best way to see whether the purpose of writing is fulfilled or not is by asking the readers how much they are satisfied with the write-up.

If they can swear that they have the experience of observing and treating the subject first-hand, then it means that the purpose was fulfilled. Otherwise, the writer needs to work on his prose and the elements of the essay to ensure readers’ satisfaction.

Your Path To Write Descriptive Masterpieces

Writing a superb descriptive essay is like starting a long but rewarding journey. Before setting out on the path, the wayfarer must procure necessary supplies and get the heading for the destination through a well-defined map. Since you are on the journey to learn how to write great descriptive essays, this is your pathway. It will shed ample light on everything you need before starting as well as along the way.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Choosing A Topic And Turning It Into A Title

Many students ask the question of whether a descriptive essay can be written without a topic or a title. Maybe, a descriptive essay can be written, but a good descriptive essay cannot even start without a topic and a working title. A topic is a focused area of the subject whereas a title is somehow a blueprint for the whole essay. For instance, a day in school can be a topic but the most embarrassing day in school is a title. In academic institutions, these are often given by the instructors so that students do not have to come up on their own. When this is the case, there is no need to spend time and other resources on further improving or sharpening it. But when a topic is not assigned, students should formulate a question and then turn it into a title.

Gathering Necessary Information

Descriptive essay topics, whether they are about a person, a thing, a place, or an event, require the gathering of the necessary information. The data is the backbone of the prose and must be procured and vetted before setting out to write. Depending on the topic, scope, and reach of the essay, all the researched material should be in one accessible place. Many writers believe that they can write solid descriptive essays solely through the depth of their imagination. This could be true for highly-imaginative people but most students need something to start with, which is covered by the research. Writers can employ both online and real-life resources to fill in the gaps and replenish their arsenal for the write-up. Without doing this, it becomes tough for the students to continue writing and finishing a draft in time.

Creating An Outline – From Start To Finish

In addition to prior research and gathering of necessary data, creating an outline is also considered to be a mixed bag for writers. Some cherish it and consider it crucial for their process, whereas the rest scorn it and think of it as the death of creativity and spontaneity. For students in schools and colleges who are still learning the ropes of writing descriptive essays, it is best to outline before getting started. A lengthy outline provides a constant heading and a point of reference. Those who believe it is the death of creativity are wrong because the process of measuring and weighing options continue, from outlining and composing the first draft to finalizing the last draft. The virtues of outlining trump its vices, even if there are any!

Starting The Introduction With A Hook

The introduction of a descriptive essay is considered to be one of the most crucial parts of the essay. Even the opening of the introduction requires a section for itself. Many writers use the space to cement authority and interest for the readers through a hook. A hook is a literary device that can be a question, a bold statement or a claim, or a question directly asked by the readers. After laying down a perfect hook, the writer sets the stage for the context and details that are about to come in the main body. A thesis statement is also an essential part of the essay. It distills the main idea or the theme in a single or a couple of sentences. Naturally, it comes at the end of the introduction to foreshadow the content as well as the transition to the body.


Detailing Elements In The Essay Body

The body of a descriptive essay is the meat and bones of the essay. It covers the bulk of the write-up in terms of word count and paragraphs. That’s why almost all the essential elements of a descriptive essay are at play in this section. The most common are four which include vivid details, figurative language, sensory details, and rigid structure. The vivid details start to unfold from the introduction and transition well into the main body. However, figurative language and sensory details can connect the dots for the readers because, without them, it is hard to imagine “seeing” or “feeling” the subject under consideration. In a standard format, the main body occupies three paragraphs of description and deliberation. There is no shortage of words for the writer but he should still make every word count.

Summarizing Main Points In The Conclusion

After the main body of the essay, the conclusion comes into the picture. Many students make the mistake of ignoring its importance and close off their essays with half-baked ideas and phrases. This can be disastrous for the final score of the essay because many readers will read and remember this part, instead of the introduction and the main body. However, they should put considerable effort and time into composing the closing or conclusion of the essay. The idea here is to summarize the main points of the body and introduction and reiterate them with vigor and diligence. New ideas or solutions to the problems that are discussed in the body should not get a place in the conclusion. Students should aim for catchy one-liners to finish off the essay because it will make it memorable and do its job.


Proofreading And Editing The Draft

Simply churning out words in the first draft is never enough for the readers as well as for the writers. No matter how much care and planning you have put into the first draft, there will be mistakes and inconsistencies of both grammatical and syntactical nature. This is where proofreading and editing come into the picture. 

Even seasoned writers go through multiple proofing and editing sessions before they submit their work to publishers. This way, they can make sure that there are no grammatical or other errors in the content. These days, there are online tools, both paid and free, that can help writers with these issues. The two most common tools are Grammarly and Hemingway Editor. The former can detect grammatical and structural mistakes in the sentences whereas the latter can identify longer sentences, point out weak verbs, and put check the number of adverbs in content.

F.A.Q

What are the four essential elements of a descriptive essay?

The four essential elements of a descriptive essay are as follows:

  • Vivid details paint a picture
  • Figurative language such as similes, metaphors, analogies, etc
  • Rigid structure
  • The specific organization of the content

What is the role of sensory details in a descriptive essay?

Sensory details are the pillars of a descriptive essay because they provide the third dimension to the much-needy prose. For instance, while describing a flower, it would be impossible for the writer to let the reader know what kind of smell it produces if he cannot rely on sensory details.


How is descriptive writing different from narrative writing?

Descriptive writing is focused on the physical and metaphysical aspects of the subject under consideration. On the other hand, the narrative essay is often about a personal experience or incident that had lasting effects on the writer and the succeeding course of events.


Why is choosing a topic the first important step in writing a descriptive essay?

Choosing a topic is just like choosing a destination before the journey. You cannot even get started without a specific essay topic, let alone write and finish it. That’s why it is considered to be the most important step in writing a descriptive essay. Also, turning a topic into a title can provide the content with much-needed focus.


What is the process of writing a good descriptive paragraph?

The process of writing a good descriptive essay is given in the following section:

  • Choosing a topic and turning it into a title
  • Research and outlining
  • Writing the first draft
  • Proofreading and editing
  • Finalizing the draft before submitting

How can you define the primary motive of descriptive writing?

The purpose or the primary motive of writing a descriptive essay is to entertain the readers and let them experience the intricacies of the subject through the power of prose. By relying on sensory details and figurative language, writers can make the subject alive for the readers, thus fulfilling the motive behind descriptive writing.


Writing Better To Score Better

The quest to write better descriptive essays does not stop anywhere. Whenever you are finished mastering a craft, there is always something new and novel on the horizon. In this blog post, we have chalked out the whole pathway of writing great descriptive essays for students in schools and colleges. The guidelines are easy to follow and have examples to help novice writers make better sense of the milestones. All six milestones are important and when done superbly, they can help a writer connect the dots properly for the readers. The journey to make subjects of descriptive essays come alive on a paper starts here!

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